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Tuesday, August 24, 2010


The furor of the ground zero mosque project has mostly exposed the ignorance and confusion on what truly Islam represents.What is Islam? Is there an inherent contradiction in Islam ,as it exist in Christianity and other religion? Let us take an example here; As a christian i ponder at most times, if Christianity promotes slavery? But with teachings,discussions, and enlightenment ,I know that Christianity does not promote slavery.However,if you read Ephesians 6:5-7, "Slaves, obey your masters with deep respect and fear.Serve them sincerely as you would serve Christ....", without understanding you would think that Christianity promotes slavery.There are also Christians out there who may justify their misguided conducts by claiming support from biblical verses like this.Such actions would be contrary to the Christianity i know and the United States constitution. How do we reconcile religious ideologies and tenets with secular legal realities of our present Geo-political structures.United States is a constitutional Republic,that practices democracy. Majority of the teachings we see in the Bible , Koran and other faith books CANNOT be practiced in the United States without a serious affront on the constitution of the United States.How do we judge Islam? Personally,I think Muslims should educate non adherents in a unique society like America on what Islam represents. In Saudi Arabia,Iran, Indonesia,Nigeria,Iraq, Taliban "Kingdom",Al Qaeda "Kingdom" and other countries/ political entity that Islam is practiced, fundamental and genuine concerns are raised by non adherents.Which is the proper Islam? Islamic scholars and teachers must come out vividly and put doubts and confusion to rest.Do we use Saudi Arabia or Iran as a case study of what Islam is? So how do we strive a balance,so that we live this American dream without fear of any culture derailing the Dream.

I came into contact with Islam,in 1991 ,after my law school in Nigeria.I was captivated and enticed by Islam.By providence i met a friend ,who is a Muslim.He took me as a blood brother,help me by introducing me to his family.This family showed me love,even to this day.I am from a christian family from the south of the country,while they come from the north,a predominantly Muslim region.When i did not go to church on Sundays,my friend would scold me.A Muslim,telling me to attend church? That is the Islam and Muslims I Know.They never discriminated against me but treated me as their blood relation.Whatever,i am today ,apart from my parents and family,these Muslims had positive effect on my success in life.I have gone ,this length ,to mirror that the problem may not be in the religions but with people, how they practice their religion.
So whether, you are for the mosque or against it at ground zero,it is how we practice our faith that will mirror and give meaning to what our faith represents.
The extent that we practice good,will go a long way to draw people to our faith.
There is need for practical commonsense approach for dialogue between Muslims and non Muslims in the United States .It is a fact that some members of the Muslim faith are committing criminal acts in the name of the religion.It is the responsibility of Muslims to openly and loudly condemn any acts of crime committed in the name of Islam. There should be more interfaith conferences organized to educate all Americans ,of what Islam represents.

Muslims should stand up and not allow their faith to be hijacked by Taliban,Al Qaeda and their likes.I still believe that the Islam i encountered in 1991 ,is still with us.

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